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MoCo's IG Presses For Disability Retirement Fix

Montgomery County's independent inspector general this afternoon issued the third in a series of reports on the police disability retirement system that has been criticized for lax oversight.

The inspector general's latest memo backs key provisions of legislation pending before the County Council that would change the way disability applications are filed and reviewed.

Changes through legislation and policy are necessary, according to the memo, to "ensure deserving employees" receive benefits and that the "program is protected from abuse."

But some council members have said they want to put the legislation on hold to give the County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) time to first try to negotiate changes with police union leaders.

By Ann Marimow  |  January 29, 2009; 3:51 PM ET
Categories:  Ann Marimow , Montgomery County  
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If union leaders hadn't let their rank and file engage in these egregious practices I'd have more sympathy for negotiating with them.

The county council is way too eager to court union approval with my money.

Posted by: RedBird27 | January 29, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Let'a look at the words of Richard C. Kreutzberg in the Montgomery Weekly section of the paper today:

If a police officer is making $100,000 a year at retirement time (25 years service), he gets $50,000 in pension, plus cost-of-living increases, plus family medical benefits for 35 years on average.

But if he files for disability, he can get a much better deal for his 35 years of retirement. He retires on $75,000 a year in tax-free disability payments (no city, state, county or federal income taxes). He gets cost-of-living increases on this tax-free amount, plus lifetime family medical benefits. Assuming an average 5% annual cost-of-living increase he will live to collect $413,000 in tax-free, income in the year before he dies.

If his disability is just contrived to get a better benefit, he is ripping off the taxpayers in a very significant way. Thus, it is imperative that governments offering disability pay have strict criteria to prevent contrived claims from ripping off the system. Fairfax County, with an almost zero disability rate, has the required criteria. Montgomery, it seems, has no criteria at all.

I forgot to mention that the disabled officer might also get tax-free and cost-of-living-adjusted Social Security as well. In addition he may pursue a second career in another state or local government and earn a second pension. And his disability would no doubt ensure he wouild take first place in line for any opening.

Right on Kreutzberg! These police disability retirements are just about using the homeowner as an ATM.

Posted by: robinfickerofrobinrealty | January 29, 2009 9:27 PM | Report abuse

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